After some 6 months of lockdown and delivering fitness sessions on Zoom, I am finally getting back outside with our campers for some proper outdoor group fitness!
It’s how the business was started back in 2009 and what stirs me to keep it going despite all the weirdness of 2020.
There’s been a slow and timid return to the outdoor, in-person sessions. This initially surprised me as I was so sure that our community, borne from the seed of working out together, would want to gravitate back to that. But they had adjusted well to a new virtual world and so less inclined to take more time doing the same thing that they could do in their gardens.
What has been interesting though is seeing the change in those who have come back already.
The enthusiasm, the camaraderie, the banter, the post workout chats are all back and giving them beaming faces at the end of the session.
Before lockdown our Sunday Wake Up! sessions each week at 9am were the highlight of my week. A large collection of our Fit Camp community and a pay-as-you-go contingent all getting their day started positively, with a smile, a chat and a whoop each week. I hadn’t realised quite how much I’d missed that until this week.
On Sunday I ran a combined in-person and on-line Zoom session. It took a little bit of tech set up to start with, but once I’d worked out what I was doing we were able to transmit to those in their gardens whilst I was talking to the those with me.
The response from those at the (socially distanced) in person workout was tangible as they were all delighted to be back with their Sunday buddies.
The Zoomers were pleased to be able to hear the collective puffing and heckling from those there in a group that they too felt part of the team.
A win, win for the campers.
But for me the best bit was seeing everyone stay and chat afterwards before heading home. There’s something quite rewarding by seeing your community do that.
So as we stretch into the autumn and winter and look to the next version of our outdoor bootcamp timetable from the end of October I’ll be considering the following benefits of outdoor exercise and winter fitness as the timetable and sessions take shape.
- The exquisite combination of sunlight and fresh air has an instant and profound effect on mood, energy and serotonin levels.
- Combine that with the benefits of deep breaths and the oxygen hitting the lungs can leave you feeling exhilarated and slightly heady.
- A healthy dose of unprotected sunlight on the skin (between April – September) will give you a natural vitamin D dose each time you go out.
- Simply being in nature has been shown to lower the hormones which increase stress levels. Imagine what exercise can do when you’re outside amongst the greenery, big skies and ever changing views.
- Working out outside challenges the body slightly more. Think running on a treadmill versus running through a woodland path. Or cycling on the gym bike as opposed to the dips, hills, bumps and wind resistance from being on the road.
- Being outside gives you endless options to be varied in your workouts. If you’re a runner you can run most places! If you like to cycle you can be off-road or on, up mountains or down. Even when there’s a fixed location like we have a FastTrack Fit Camp we can still offer you different views as we pass through the different seasons. Our Bearwood Recreation Ground location in Winnersh is surrounded by trees which turn beautifully through the year.
- Finally in this little treat into the benefits of outdoor fitness, I’d be remiss not to mention the beauty of working out in a group. I know you can get that inside too, I worked in gym dance studios for 10 years, I know that wonderful, collective sweatiness from all doing the same thing at the same time. But when you’re outside there’s an extra understanding. Yes the workout may be tough, but if it’s raining you all get it, if it’s windy you’re all chasing your mats. There’s a group spirit that makes for something quite special at the end of an outdoor session that you don’t get on Zoom or in a sterile gym.
To find out how you can get an experience of outdoor fitness join us for our complimentary week, worth £40.00 please email Rowena on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you set up in no time!
FastTrack Fit Camp is an outdoor fitness business with the focus on improving people on the inside so they feel good on the outside. In 2019 FastTrack Fit Camp became a Social Enterprise and committed to distribute a minimum of 50% of profits back to community environmental projects each year with the goal of helping our local citizens feel good whilst being outside too.